NM019: hydrus - postcards

NM019: hydrus – postcards

format: digital
released: march 27 2006

3.opin pt.1


Amsterdam sonologists Herman Wilken and Almer Lücke are Hydrus. They met at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Both of them played in rock bands, but are equally adapt at stochastic composition and programming extremely tight rhythms. Production-wise, these guys can easily live up to the greats in this genre. Just like the music on their Split LP-contribution, Postcards is a true gem of breathtakingly transparent polder electronics. Hydrus switch between melancholy and darkness. The second half of 2006 will see the release of their first full length album Interleaves.

press downloads
hi-res image of cover
press release (english)
press release (dutch)


january 2007

Het Hoofddorpse label Narrominded maakte FRET nog even attent op de gratis verkrijgbare tracks van Boutros Bubba en Hydrus. Hartverwarmend, zo’n label dat aan je denkt in de herfstige aanloop naar het koude, kille seizoen van het jaar. Spoelstra (zang, gitaar) en Vreselijk Ongeluk (drums) vormen Boutros Bubba en gaan verder waar ze eerder mee bezig waren in de band Quarles van Ufford: rekenkundig uitgekiende, op scherp gespeelde furieuze rock. Goed op elkaar ingespeeld, maar net zoals de naam van de band niet lang houdbaar – wellicht. Of.? Dan iets heel anders: de dromerige, volkomen transparante polderelektronica van de Amsterdamse sonologisten Herman Wilken en Almer Lücke oftewel Hydrus. Oorstrelende, aangename luchtigheid die al bijna opgelost is voor je aan het beluisteren ervan toegekomen bent. Het betere wegzakwerk…

file under
november 28 2006
by ewie

Een laken van een heel ander pak, maar dus op hetzelfde label verschijnend -en hoera, ook weer gratis te downloaden- is Postcards van Hydrus. De twee Amsterdammers Herman Wilken en Almer Lücke brengen vijf elektronische postkaarten uit die een voorbode zijn voor een volledig album. Hydrus probeert je mee te nemen met hun experimentele ingetogen instrumentale sound op een uiteraard elektronisch ritme naar een andere wereld. Een wereld die er gelukkig ook is, maar die eigenlijk een beetje aan mij voorbij gaat. Eigenlijk ben ik -naar ik vrees- toch meer analoog, meer fiets dan auto als u me begrijpt. Zeker na vandaag.

vital weekly
september 13 2006
by fdw

I like the Dutch label Narrominded, because they never live up to their name – thank god. They release CDs, vinyl and also MP3s. From the latter section three new releases. On a totally different musical level are Hydrus who released before on Narrominded (see Vital Weekly 414), but here they move from vinyl to MP3. Hydrus are from Amsterdam and is a duo of Herman Wilken and Almer Lücke. They play music that can best described as the sort that is normally released by Expanding Records or Highpoint Lowlife: melodic, melancholic techno ambient (or ambient techno – whatever is important to go first). In ‘Dea’ things are all ambient but in the other four tracks beats take up quite a more important role. Perhaps not the most original voices in this kind of music, they can certainly live up to their UK counterparts.

original article

june 16 2006

Narrominded releases five tracks of glistering, soothing and painstakingly arranged electronica by the duo of Herman Wilken and Almer Lücke as a free download on www.narrominded.com as an appetizer to their first full length album “Interleaves” scheduled for later on this year. If this sentence, neatly packing up the whole necessary information, would have been all there is to this release, then I would have put it into the starving Cracked-news section. But “postcards” has so much to offer it is way more than another information tidbit or minor electronica release out there. It is true, there are a lot of netlabels out there and there are some really great releases amongst the mass of free mp3 releases, but both are hard to find amidst the mass of trite and generic ambient, electronica and minimal house or whatnot. What sets “postcards” apart from these, asides the fact that narrominded is a fully fledged record label that has downloads, free downloads, CDs and even some vinyl albums on its catalogue, is the ability and know how of Wilken and Lücke.

They set down some tracks that are intricate in their simplicity and fascinating in the richness of details. Moreover they are polished to perfection without losing human warmth and empathy. Atmospheric spheres of warm synths are layered over diverse kinds of beats that range from laid back break beats to almost inaudible pods and pans. This, of course, is nothing breathtakingly new or something that will excite the masses on the dancefloors and in the offices of music journals and magazines, but as history has proven to us: the most exciting records in retrospect are a lot of times these that went under the rader the first time around. Examples are plenty.

Hydrus, in this configuration, draw a direct line to some electronica that hasn’t received too much attention as well in the last years. This is a result from the not fish / not meat sound, that, as I said, is not up for the journalists and not up for the dancefloors as well. Like the kid standing in the back of the room, waiting to be discovered and knowing that it has all the talent in it and the charisma and character to show them all, what it is, but never sees dreams come to live, because the starmakers and people looking for new and great personaes always get distracted by the flashy, bragging, loud and dressed up kids that crowd the front and produce all kinds of action to receive attention. I can feel with that kid in the back and I always try to leave the dressed up kids everybody talks about as they are and scan the room for who else is around. Sometimes those kids in the back deserve their place, but more often than not they deliver something unique and original, that attention seekers never have, because they are too concerned with what the watchers want to see and not with that they want to convey.

From Schlammpeitziger to some early tape-compilations on Dhyana (these being my earlies confrontations with this kind of style) this has been an on / off relationship of mine; a genre to which I like to return usually around the time of year summer returns to my life as well. There has to be a reason for this seasonality, but it might be too obvious for me to see at the moment. Anyway, the warm weather has to come some day these weeks, the rain will go, the skies will clear and it will be time for Hydrus’ warm and gentle electronica to dive into and relax.

big load
may 16 2006

Eine schöne Einstimmung in den Sommer, diese fünf Tracks. Wirken auf den ersten Hörblick wie Nebenbei-Elektronik/Downtempo-Tracks mit vielen Synthie-Flächen und so wunderbar-frickeligen Postrockspielereien drinnen, nur um dann irgendwann völlig abzubrechen und ein hörbares IDM-Noise-Stück reinzuhämmern. Also gut fürs Autoradio und die Kopfhörer. Schön, elegant, angenehm. Und dann wieder ein bisserl rotzig, ungezogen und krachig. Nichts eklatant Neues, ich weiß, deshalb auch gute Sommer-Musik. (Und diesbezüglich sicher besser als der ganze Cafe de Brasil-Pseudojazz-Scheiss.)

Ich durchschau zwar die Politik von Narrominded nicht, manches so und manches so und manches wieder anders zu veröfffentlichen (und download only bezahl releases find ich total mau) aber egal, dass hier ist sehr schön und gratis.

original article

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